So much for being a Toys R Us kid.
Over the years, the self-proclaimed “Center of the Toy Universe" has struggled to keep up with competitors like Target, Walmart and Amazon, which offer convenient one-stop shopping and low pricing for everything, not just toys.
That struggle has finally caught up with them. The company announced on Wednesday its plan to "wind down" U.S. business in all 735 of the company’s remaining U.S. stores, including stores in Puerto Rico.
While disappointing to parents and kids alike, it's not exactly a surprise. In September 2017, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but assured customers they would continue to operate as usual, keeping all stores and online shopping open for business.
Unfortunately, the overconfident execs at Toys R Us were forced to meet with creditors and come up with a new solution to relieve some of the financial pressure after taking another brutal hit over the holidays.
In January, the company amended their initial statement, advising customers they would be closing 182 stores as part of a restructuring plan. They had already begun closing stores when the toy company sent out this message on Twitter in early March:
The message was immediately followed by a string of uncertainty from company employees:
It turns out they were both right, as were several other disgruntled employees who chimed in to add their two cents.
“I am very disappointed with the result, but we no longer have the financial support to continue the company’s U.S. operations," Dave Brandon, chairman and chief executive officer of Toys R Us, said in a statement. "We are therefore implementing an orderly process to shutter our U.S. operations and will pursue going concern sales or reorganizations of certain of our international businesses, while our other international businesses consider their options.”
Brandon continued, “There are many people and organizations who have remained in our corner every step along the way. I want to thank our extraordinary team members who helped build Toys R Us into a global brand. I also want to express my appreciation for my colleagues on our board who have continued to provide support to sustain the brand and our operations throughout the restructuring process. I would also like to thank our vendors who we owe a great deal of gratitude to for their decades of support. This is a profoundly sad day for us as well as the millions of kids and families who we have served for the past 70 years.”
According to the statement, liquidation sales will take place over the next few months as the company begins clearing shelves at both Toys R Us and Babies R Us stores.